There are more ways than ever to get your message across, whether you have clients or work within an organisation. 

Whilst the savvy freelance VA understands that marketing is important for their business, the forward-thinking PA or EA will also realise the value of messaging. 

And some of what may not be so relevant now may become more relevant at some point in the future.  

Especially for the professional assistant considering going it alone in the next year or two. 

With your marketing and messaging, you can go offline, go online or do a mix of both. (And it’s usually a good idea to do both). 

Here are 21 ways to go about it. There are more, this is just to get you thinking about what might work for you. 

1. Facebook 

Love it or loathe it, Facebook remains a popular online community. You may find posting, sharing videos, joining relevant groups or setting up your own group attracts interest. 

2. LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is a more business-oriented online community. Again, you can post, join groups or set up something yourself. You can also add articles or videos. 

3. Twitter 

This is the snappy, short-form medium. It can be a simple way to engage with many people but may also require a lot of time if responding to ‘everything’. Some love it. Some ignore it. 

4. Instagram 

This is owned by Facebook (or Meta), which can be useful for sharing content across both platforms. It’s best suited to visual content. Ideal if you want to illustrate your graphic design or presentation skills. 

5. YouTube 

If you look at the huge numbers, people across the world love watching videos. If you like being in front of the camera, creating video content around you and the work you do could be a way forward. I have a YouTube channel for my business. Even if you use it to share an interest in a hobby or pastime, it says something about you.  

6. Website 

It’s not compulsory to have a website. But if you do have one, it reassures people you are ‘real’ and allows you to showcase all that you have to offer. 

7. Email Marketing 

From your website or social media marketing, you can start to build an email list. This allows you to connect and build a relationship with people. They get to know you and what you do. You get to know (from their level of engagement, feedback or participation in surveys) a bit more about them. You can nurture your list towards your services and packages. 

8. SMS Text Marketing 

You might use your website or email marketing to draw out the mobile number of your connections (perhaps in return for giving them a freebie resource). Once you have the number, you could create a simple SMS marketing campaign with a series of targeted texts. 

9. PDF ‘lead magnet’ 

This is a resource you offer people – on your website or a landing page from a social media campaign. In return, they give you their name and email address (maybe a contact phone number and postal address as well). It is part of the list building process. 

10. Sales Brochure 

This can be a printed brochure or a PDF version. Typically, a brochure tells people about you, your services and packages, your pricing, and a summary of your terms and conditions. It gives reasons why people should choose you and not a competitor. 

11. Direct Mail Marketing 

Direct mail marketing covers anything you send in the post to people. Letters, postcards, packages and so on. With so much focus on social media, people often forget that this ‘old school’ method of marketing is available. When done well, it can prove very profitable.  

12. Sales Letter or Sales Page 

A sales page is a web page that you send people to, with your offer on it. A sales letter is an ‘old school’ letter you send via the post. It is a key part of most direct mail marketing efforts and contains a strong offer. 

13. Leaflets and Flyers 

These may not be best suited to the freelance assistant business but could be a possibility if you’re in a specialist niche or want to target a particular area or community. 

14. Online or Physical Directory 

There are many business and trade directories around, some in physical form and many on the web. Some are free to join, others may charge a fee to be included. If you think this is where your type of client may well be looking, it may be worth exploring. 

15. Newspaper or Magazine Article 

There are two ways to go with this. Firstly, you can either write – or be commissioned to write – an article by a newspaper or relevant magazine. Secondly, you might be featured in an interview or other article written by somebody else for the publication. It can be great for your profile, PR and for generating enquiries off the back of it. 

16. Podcast 

You could be selected or nominate yourself to be interviewed on somebody’s podcast. Alternatively, you might wish to set up your own podcast. The more niche or interesting your work, the better. The more confident you are speaking about what you do, the more this broadcast medium may suit you. 

17. Radio Interview 

The same goes for radio interviews. If you have a ‘great voice’ for radio and can speak with clarity and passion, this is a good path to go down. Any national or international coverage creates opportunities for enquiries or fresh requests for interviews. 

18. Business Networking 

In this hybrid way of working, networking could be at an in-person event (the traditional way) or online (via Zoom or Teams, for example). For many start-ups, this can be a great way to meet people, build relationships and hone their messaging skills. 

19. Write a Book 

Do you have a fascinating back story of how you got to where you are today? Do you want to share some of your know-how and how-to expertise? One way to share either of those is by writing a book. It’s a trending form of marketing. 

20. Public Speaking 

With many events returning to the traditional ‘in-person’ approach, there will be increasing opportunities to speak in public. For some people, it’s what they fear most. For others, it’s a chance to get in front of a good audience and make a strong connection with the right people – potential prospects and clients. 

21. Word of Mouth Recommendation 

Probably the most powerful form of marketing. If a trusted friend or colleague tells someone that you’re the person to speak to about a project, role or piece of work, you are far more likely to secure the deal. And it will usually be the easiest sales process you’ve experienced.  

This is why it’s important to let friends, family and colleagues know what you do and who you’re looking to work with. It’s why you should ask existing and past clients for referrals. It smooths the path to the next sale. 

Consistency is the Key 

Just to be clear. You don’t need to do ALL 21 of these ways of marketing to get your message across. You might only focus on two or three to start with. 

Whether you go online or offline, or a mix, there are two things you should aim to get right. The strength of the message and the consistency of the message. 

Doing a little, often, is better than feverish activity for a week or two and then doing nothing. The ‘drip, drip’ effect can be very powerful over time. You never know where the next enquiry will come from. 

If you’re already a freelance, see which ideas from the list work best for you. If you’re an assistant who may go freelance in the future, bear these ideas in mind for when the time arises. 

Which ones will you use? Comment below. 

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Shelley joined us for the annual HMC Heads’ PAs conference in May 2023, where she delivered two hands-on practical IT skills workshops for over 60 PAs in attendance. Both sessions were warmly received by all participants, and from a personal perspective it was an absolute pleasure for me to work with Shelley both offline in the extensive prep phase ahead of the sessions, and online during the day itself – sharp in subject knowledge, flexible in content delivery and everything executed with a really affable manner and “can-do” approach throughout. I would recommend her services wholeheartedly.

Gareth Johnson – Leader GRE Education

Heads PA Conference

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn. It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney